Monday, Day Five of Vacation

Jackson, Wyoming the morning of

The next day, after breakfast, we checked out and wandered around Jackson, mostly shopping and people watching. After lunch we headed north into the Grand Tetons National Park. The temperature dropped as the elevation climbed to 10,000 ft and once inside the park the temperature was about 40 degrees, although the sun had came out.

We checked in at 4:15PM. Why do I remember the precise time? Because like most accidents the events are played over in slow motion. We drove to our close by cabin.

I carried my luggage inside the cabin then heard a scream. We ran outside to find my husband lying on the ground.

The above pictures tell the story. Bob tripped holding his ipad, fell, and fractured his right shoulder. Betsy call 911. Hotel staff came immediately in a golf cart, knew not to move him, and called for an ambulance. It was raining and temperatures continued to drop. We grabbed blankets. The man layered their winter jackets underneath a garbage bag hoping to prevent shock, The ambulance, traveling from outside the park arrived one hour later. The ride back was the same one hour over bumpy roads. Doctors at St. John’s hospital determined Bob probably need surgery but didn’t argue. A man with his medical history needed to be home to Florida. He was discharged, arm in a sling with pain medication.

The process took hours.

Betsy and Bill had followed the ambulance and patiently sat in the ER waiting room wondering what to do.

“Well girlfriend,” I said, calling on my cell phone. “You’ll have to go shopping. Bob has nothing to wear. That really nice blue checked shirt was cut off.”

. . . just saying

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Day Three of Vacation

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Fort Collins

Friday morning, cool temperatures in Fort Collins were a welcome relief from the heat and humidity of Florida. We walked their dog, sipped coffee and read the newspaper while our friends were at the hospital.  Things went well.

Because Yellowstone was closed due to heavy rains and flooding, Betsy and I spent several hours cancelling and re-booking, hotel , dinner reservation and excursions a year in the making, and found accommodations in Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons. The original plan was to drive to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, an eight hour trip. Spend one night. Then Grand Teton Hotel (one hour away) for one night, and three nights inside Yellowstone.

We worked side by side with two computer and two cell phones, hoping Yellowstone would open on Wednesday.

It was exhausting and . . . time to go shopping.

Money Magazine, named Fort Collins the “Best Place to Live” in the western United States among small cities in 2006. Old Town is its main core where the city’s history began. The Fort Collins Museum, which was created as the Pioneer Museum in 1941, retains the first settler’s hut and two other historic structures in its courtyard. The Avery House and a section of the old city center are on the National Register of Historic Places.

It is a beautiful college town with flowers everywhere.

Families sauntered about, their children splashed in street ponds and the dogs were well behaved.

. . . just saying

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Day Two of Vacation

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Yellowstone was closed! My friend had phoned the day before to explain there were additional sidesteps. Her husband needed an unanticipated medical procedure the day after our arrival and her air conditioning was on the fritz. Always the optimist, I said, “We haven’t seen you in ages and there is lots to do in Colorado.”

Our flight was on time and arrived as scheduled. We visited the Gaylord Hotel, a spectacular lodge rising-up in the flat plains close to Denver International Airport and had lunch. It’s about an hour drive to Fort Collins and Bill insisted we take the scenic route father than Route 25 to avoid construction, traffic delays and vehicle accidents. And we did see some sights; housing construction competing with fracking fields. However, in the north the brown flat lands turn green with flowers and lakes.

The men retired early and the women watch “Being the Riccardo’s” staring Nicole Kidman. I loved everything about the movie.

The air conditioning repair person was scheduled for the next day and we slept comfortably with a ceiling fan and the windows open.

Things might work out just fine.

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Day One of Vacation

A chartreuse pillow similar in shape and size to a to a large dog bone sat on a purple couch in the hotel lobby. The clerk was all smiles telling us we were early. So, we sat on the purple sofa and waited, mesmerized by a carpet cleaner. The bubbling steamer was pushed back and forth by a housekeeper determined to suck up its remains. The noise and disinfectant smell quickly drove us outside into the Florida heat and sun, which was worse. So, back inside. . . we stood, as the lobby was now crowded. An audience of turning heads as though attending a tennis match watched silently, and I wondered if they would applaud.

Upstairs, I loved the room and fantasized about living in a Tiny House before we headed out to dinner. The restaurant was with-in walking distance, but we decided not to walk hearing thunder, once downstairs.

So, my husband took the elevator to get his car keys, but returned saying the room key didn’t work. He held out the key to examine and discovered he was using a hotel business card to open the room door.

The sky opened-up with what is called “Big Rain” in Florida, as we drove to the restaurant and although wet, we eventually we had dinner.

Day one of the vacation from hell.

. . . just saying

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Happy Fourth of July

Bob and I have returned from a “vacation” in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. It is a long story that I am working on. In the mean time I hope you enjoy my poem, written some time ago. Its a favorite of mine.

The Itsy Bitsy Bug

Red White and Blue

Can an itsy bitsy bug be patriotic?
His red, white, and blue symbolic,
A political view
Understand freedom . . . be equal too

Like a school age kindergartner
Raise his hand to hold the flag
Chosen, glad with honor
Knows to say a prayer

Can an itsy bitsy bug be patriotic?
Puff his chest, recite the pledge
Listen to a voice within
Battle for the helpless, or let the bullies win!

Stand side by side with those who care
Silently and stare
Misty eyed while taps is played for those who dare
Think America is beautiful

Can an itsy bitsy bug be patriotic?

. . . just saying

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Tangled In Your Underwear

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Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

Help me here, is tangled in your underwear a metaphor, colloquialism or good advice?

Regardless, it happened to me and I’m wondering. . . .Has this happen to you?

Let me start at the beginning. I lost my balance and things were getting scary. Fear of falling resulted in my sitting down to put my pants on. It was vertigo.

A physical therapist shook the crystals out and explained, that although poor balance is assumed to go hand in hand with aging, behavior changes are a huge factor and the root cause of my loss of balance.

She was right. I was holding on to kitchen counters, walked with my arm tucked under someone else’s and sat down to put my pants on.

She recommended an exercise program.

The good news; my balance was restored, and I set a goal to dress standing up and had success except when my toes got tangled in my underwear.

Pointing my toes provided mediocre results as did wearing socks.

It is a daily challenge, so here are a few tips:

  1. Always have a bench or chair behind you.
  2. Practice standing on one foot leaning against a counter or wall, first.
  3. Graduate to standing on one foot with your eyes closed and then the other.
  4. When you’ve mastered the above introduce the underwear; concentrate hard and one leg at a time . . . go for it.
  5. Expect to wobble but refuse to fall-down.
  6. Continue to do balance exercise, daily, for the rest of your life.

. . . just saying

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Lemon, Orzo and Meatball Soup

Today, I was tempted to write about Kyrie Irving’s $50,000 fine, or Johnny Depp’s and Amber Heard’s domestic abuse claims; Putin and the war or (don’t even go there) Florida’s political shenanigans, but instead, I decided to make soup.

Lemon, Orzo and Meatball Soup really does help one “Escape the Daily Grind.” The recipe appeared in the October 2013 issue of Southern Living. It takes some time to prepare things and I was thrilled my husband volunteered to help. Bob shaped the meatballs, peeled and cut the carrots; and then asked; what do you want done to the lemons? “Zest them,” I said over my shoulder and leaving the kitchen to write.

An hour later when I returned and found the lemons peeled.

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Would you complain? And all was not lost; I chopped and diced the lemon peel as you would cloves of garlic and the taste and texture was actually better.

There is a note to self at the top because, the soup is better when you follow the recipe. . . that’s the truth Edith-Ann.

. . . just saying

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Write Naked

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Write Naked

Write Naked is the title of a Florida Writers Association Blog I recently read and immediately had a visual picture; successful writers sitting at their typewriters nude. It wasn’t pretty.

Then the line, “Would it help?” from the film, Bridge of Spies, came to mind. The character never frets, but inquires if ruminating would help his situation

Could wearing your birthday suit make words flow and bring a place in the sun.

More than likely, I’d just get sunburn.

Come to find out, writing naked means to write from the authors emotional experience and bare ones’ emotions.

Therein lies the problem.

Today’s environment of political correctness has me stymied and frozen in place. I truly do not want to offend anyone and just when we think the worst of the Pandemic might be over, Putin starts a war.

Chicken Little’s’ false news, “The sky is failing,” has become reality.

Would it help if cursed at him in the nude?

. . . just saying

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Happy Valentine’s Day

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What Happened to January

What happened to January? The entire month is a blur. I had cataract surgery, that required doctor visits. Then physical therapy, to regain my balance, several times a week. Now I can put my pants on standing up. I went on a cruise with my sister, my brother came for a visit and my grandson moved to Florida.

All passengers had to be fully vaccinated and we were tested before boarding the cruise ship and required to wear a face mask when not eating or drinking. As long as you had a drink in your hand you were good to go.

Anyway, I woke up this morning in a Super Bowl halftime show dizzy, to Valentine’s Day; hoping to get back to writing, and with appreciation of all my readers.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, sunny, fun filled day.

Claudia

. . . just saying

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An Attitude of Gratitude

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It’s 2022 but I have a 2021 hangover. I don’t know whether to celebrate the end of a weird year with optimism for the future, or not.

It’s like waking up from a bad dream, uncertainty lingers and you’re afraid to fall back to sleep.

Please don’t misinterpret my angst, we had a great New Year’s visiting our friends in Lake Wales, Florida. They live in a gated Recreational Vehicle community with a private lake. We watched fireworks explode from their boat when it grew dark, and after a delicious dinner, enjoyed a move written by the buyer of their house in Pennsylvania, The 100 Foot Journey.

We all agreed the movie was a better choice than countdown to midnight TV shows.

The highlight of our visit was completion of a puzzle while my husband stayed in his new PJ’s and binge watched football with his friend, Ed.

Read the print carefully; I’m Grumpy . . . Deal with It!

Now that captures an attitude.

Gratitude? Well we’ll get to that.

When we arrived, my good friend Kathe was working on a puzzle she’d received as a Christmas present from her niece. I hadn’t done a puzzle in ten year. Kathe is a master and why she was gifted this puzzle. It was a find from the 1930, only 300 pieces but NO PICTURE.

The only clues were the title and shape; color matching was confusing at best. We eventually figured out Interlooking implied and in fact meant the pieces slipped apart. They did not lock together.

The two of us accomplished the impossible. We completed the puzzle. However, I’m sworn to secrecy and will post a tease, not the completed puzzle with one piece missing. thumbnail

Gratitude? Well, it is a different time in my life. A time when simple things give me enormous pleasure. Like good food, good friends and completing a 300 piece puzzle.

. . . . just saying

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. . .